Purebred Dead: A Mary McGill Mystery
By Kathleen Delaney
Rating: 3/5 Stairs
Release Date: 1 August 2015
I enjoy reading cozy mysteries. They are a lighter fare. An easier mental read, especially after reading a thriller like The Harvest Man. When I saw the sad eyes and long ears of the cocker spaniel on the cover of Purebred Dead, I knew I needed to read this one. I own a sweet cocker spaniel myself, and can’t say no to those eyes.
This was a fun cozy. Mary McGill is a retired school teacher. She’s very active in her community chairing many committees. An unbelievable amount of committees, to be honest. It made me tired just thinking about them. She’s the head of the town’s Christmas parade. And the canned food drive. And the town rummage sale. And a chair on the hospitality committee. You get the idea. The woman is busy.
It’s Christmas time in Mary’s small California town. The town’s retired (and disgraced) veterinarian is found dead in the manger scene of the Christmas pageant parade, and two young children have seen a glimpse of Cliff’s killer dressed in a monk-like robe. A puppy is found in the manger, and Mary just knows he is the key to solving the mystery. While she is busy going about her town business, she also starts making inquiries into the murder. She fears for the children’s lives and wants to get the case wrapped up. It turns out finding Cliff’s murderer won’t be as easy as she thought – many people were angry at Cliff and are not upset over his death.
It’s hard to place a finger on what it was about this book didn’t quite work for me to rate it higher than 3/5 Stairs. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I just didn’t click with it like I do with some of my other cozies. I liked the characters. There were a lot of possibilities for the killer. The cocker spaniel Millie was cute. Maybe it was the dog breeding aspect of the book. For a small town, there was a lot of cocker spaniel breeding going on. Maybe it was the fact that it was the first book in the series, and the author spends a lot of time trying to get you up to speed on the back story of the town’s characters. I’m not sure.
If you’re looking for a light mystery, and you enjoy dogs, pick this one up. It was fun with lots of possibilities to keep you guessing.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.